Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Task Mastering.  Monday and Tuesday saw the next round of task force meetings being undertaken by the Minnesota Department of Education take place.  On Monday, the Career Pathways and Technical Education Task Force met and began discussing its final recommendations.  My report that this would be the final meeting of this particular task force was inaccurate as it appears there will be two more meetings to finalize the report that must be presented to the Legislature by February 15, 2014.

The collection of recommendations currently being considered are very strong, but they are also a bit on prescriptive side in terms of planning and reporting required from districts, which somewhat impinges districts' ability to provide expanded programming and assistance for students.

Today, the Special Education Case Loads Task Force met today and made a  considerable amount of progress toward putting together its final report, also due on February 15, 2014.  One of the real challenges facing the Task Force is how to address the concerns of parents and special education teachers without hamstringing school districts by limiting their flexibility in the delivery of special education services.

Tomorrow, the School Facilities Working Group is meeting for what may its final time.  I am of the impression that this panel is closer to finishing its work, given the tenor of the discussions to this point.  There are a number of very promising provisions that will likely be in the final report on school facilities, particularly an expansion of districts currently not receiving alternative facilities revenue and increased equalization for all facilities-related levy/aid programs.  I will keep you posted on tomorrow's discussion.

Reminder.  With the recent damage to the lower level of the MASA office building, the SEE office located there is closed.  I am working out of my house, but with all the meetings taking place, I won't be there a whole lot.  I have my cell phone on me 24/7 and that number is 612-220-7459.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

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